And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is My disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward. Matthew 10:42 (NIV)
My side hurts, my legs are cramping, my throat is so dry…I’ve just reached the half-way point of the Midnight Madness fun run in Ames, Iowa on a typical humid July evening. I registered for the 10K run, but wish again I had only signed up for the 5K. Then it would be over! My body is telling me to give it up, my mind is arguing with my body, and then a wonderful person hands me a cup of cold water. I gulp the delicious liquid down, pour some on my head and toss the cup as I continue the race, refreshed and now encouraged to finish.
Aren’t those volunteers at races just the best people ever! They cheer for us and renew us with their cups of cold water. It reminds me of this Bible verse above from Matthew. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is My disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward. God bless those race volunteers!
A cup of cold water – that is what God’s Word is to me every day, refreshing and renewing me for the journey ahead. This verse from Matthew is not the only one that ties in to my life as an athlete. Sprinkled throughout the Bible are all kinds of verses that bring me closer to Jesus and encourage me to be the best athlete I can be. My fellow athletes, please drink each day from God’s Word and talk with Jesus about your favorite verses. Here are a few to get you started…
For praying about your path:
I run in the path of Your commands,
for You have set my heart free. Psalm 119:32 (NIV)
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
I guide you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble. Proverbs 4:11-12 (NIV)
For praying for strength:
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor His delight in the legs of a man;
the LORD delights in those who fear Him,
who put their hope in His unfailing love. Psalm 147:10-11 (NIV)
But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He gives me the speed of a deer,
able to tread upon the heights. Habakkuk 3:19 (NLT)
I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
For praying for help and protection:
For He will command His angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Psalm 91:11-12 (NIV)
I cried out, “I am slipping!”
but Your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. Psalm 94:18 (NLT)
I was pushed back and about to fall,
but the LORD helped me.
The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation. Psalm 118:13-14 (NIV)
For when I am thirsty:
O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek You;
my soul thirsts for You,
my body longs for You,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water. Psalm 63:1 (NIV)
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” John 7:37-38 (NIV)
For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward. Mark 9:41 (NKJV)
For training your body:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1 (NKJV)
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV)
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)
For praying for perseverance:
If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Matthew 5:41 (NIV)
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV)
You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? Galatians 5:7 (NIV)
Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. 2 Timothy 2:5 (NIV)
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)
For praying to finish the race:
Holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Philippians 2:16 (NKJV)
Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)
I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. Acts 20:24 (NIV)
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV)
For praying for victory:
The Lord is my strength and my song;
He has given me victory.
This is my God, and I will praise Him—
my father’s God, and I will exalt Him! Exodus 15:2 (NLT)
Victory comes from You, O Lord.
May you bless Your people. Psalm 3:8 (NLT)
We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the LORD grant all your requests. Psalm 20:5 (NIV)
But he himself will be refreshed from brooks along the way.
He will be victorious. Psalm 110:7 (NLT)